What are elders and deacons?

What are elders and deacons?

We use the language of the New Testament to define the titles, roles, and responsibilities of the officers of the church. In the Pastoral Epistles (1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus), the Apostle Paul highlights two specific yet distinct offices within the church: Elder and Deacon.

Elders are the overseers (episkopos) of the local community who serve the church through leadership, preaching/teaching, and prayer. Deacons are the servers (diakonos) of the local community who assist the Elders with the day-to-day logistical needs of the church, and so free the Elders to focus more directly on the ministry of the Word (cf. Acts 6). Elder candidates may be self-nominated, nominated by church member, or nominated by an existing elder. Candidates must meet the qualifications given in 1st Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 as well as complete the Eldership Process as set forth by the existing elders. Upon completion of the Eldership Process, the congregation is asked to provide a final affirmation. Elders may resign at any time for any reason or may be removed at any time if they become biblically disqualified.

Deacon candidates may be self-nominated, nominated by church member, or nominated by an existing elder. Candidates must meet the qualifications given in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 and Titus 2:3-5 as well as complete the Deaconship Process as set forth by the existing elders. Upon completion of the Deaconship Process, the congregation is asked to provide a final affirmation. Deacons may resign at any time for any reason or may be removed at any time if they become biblically disqualified.